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Writing Madness in Indigenous Literature: A Hesitation

  • Erin Soros
Chapter
Part of the Literary Disability Studies book series (LIDIST)

Abstract

Written in a series of connected vignettes—or “hesitations”—this essay considers madness in relation to Indigenous literature, specifically Celia’s Song, by Stó:lō writer Lee Maracle, yet it also troubles its own conceptual framework, interrupting and reframing the analysis through the work of other Indigenous authors, scholars, and artists, including Cree scholar and psychologist Jeffrey Ansloos; Tuscarora essayist and story writer Alicia Elliott; Michif and Nishnaabe writer and language advocate Kai Minosh Pyle; Michi Saagiig Nishnaabe writer and singer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson; and Unangax̂ writer and scholar Eve Tuck. Issues addressed include possibilities and limitations of settler literary criticism of Indigenous work; racist ideology in anthropology and psychoanalysis; and Indigenous vocabularies for mental health struggles. What results is not just a reflection of visionary states in Maracle—their relationship to colonial trauma and to ancestral insight—but also a critique of the madness of colonialism itself.

Notes

Acknowledgements

Thank you to the challenging, generous brilliance of all my teachers—a role expansively defined. Your thinking animates my own.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erin Soros
    • 1
  1. 1.TorontoCanada

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